Dozens spend the night in cardboard homes to raise awareness for homelessness

MANITOWOC, Wis. More than a dozen people will be spending Saturday night outside of a Manitowoc shelter in a tent, cardboard house or a car. The purpose is to put themselves in the shoes of a homeless person.

A cardboard house built by 14-year-old Memphys Seizert for the "Cardboard City" event

Fourteen-year-old Memphys Seizert, is sleeping inside the cardboard house he put together himself.

"I noticed that when it's hot out, the inside of the cardboard house is really hard to be in and also that making it sturdy and stable enough to stand up and be able to live in is really hard," Seizert said.

It's all part of a pledge fundraising and awareness event called "Cardboard City."

"Sleeping in their tents, cardboard homes or cars signifies advocacy for the homeless families and individuals in our county and it shows that you know we want to build awareness to the fact that there are homeless people in Manitowoc and there are quite a few of them," said Erin Schultz, Executive Director of Hope House of Manitowoc County.

"I think that'd be rough to be homeless, it would be really hard to like not know where your next meal is coming and all that, it would just be a challenge," said 13-year-old Cardboard City Participant, Clay Taylor.

Schultz says the homeless in Manitowoc County are often unseen because they're not on the streets. She hopes "Cardboard City" is an eye opening experience for everyone who participated.

“The numbers here on any given night with the shelters it's safe to say that there are upwards of 25 people in shelter on any given night in Manitowoc County and that would include Hope House, the Haven and we also have the domestic violence shelter in Manitowoc," said Schultz.

"I feel like it's going to make me a little more aware about people in this situation,” added Seizert.

Together the participants raised more than $6,000. The money will be divided between Hope House, The Haven and Habitat for Humanity to support local homeless programs in Manitowoc County.